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Are multiple C-Sections increasingly dangerous?

Our first pregnancy was preemie twins with one transverse, so I had to have a CS. I live in a relatively rural area of MT and our hospital/drs decided a few years back to not do VBACs because of the risks involved. I could probably find another dr that would let me try VBAC, but I know there are a lot of risks with that as well and I really like my OB. So when baby #3 came I had to have another CS- which was probably for the best since she was a 9 pounder! Well, I LOVE being pregnant and we are talking about trying for another baby this fall. I will be 32 then. I will definitely be talking to my dr, but that won't be for another month so I thought I'd put the question out there and see if anyone else has spoken to their drs about multiple c-sections and if the risks increase with each one! Please no snarky comments about litters, broods, or too many kids!


Asked by frat_twin_mama at 10:34 AM on Apr. 24, 2010 in Pregnancy

Level 12 (730 Credits)
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Answers (12)
  • If you using the same doctor as with your 3rd pregnany he would know if you had alot of scar tissue from the last time he was in there. The scar tissue is part of what makes it more risky each time. Just let your doctor know. I know some woman whove had 5 and they are all fine and others who've had 3 and their doctor told them DO NOT get pregnant again. . Your doctor should be able to give you the best advice.

    Answer by pinkcicle709 at 10:46 AM on Apr. 24, 2010

  • Yes, risks increase with each additional surgery. Pregnancy risks also increase after each C-section.

    Answer by DragonRiderMD at 10:36 AM on Apr. 24, 2010

  • They do but, not enough to be overly concerned. I know women that have had 4 and 5 c sections and they are fine. If it were me and I wanted another baby the c section risk wouldn't stop me. Luckily I have had 4 vaginal births, three of them being induced.

    Answer by matthewscandi at 10:39 AM on Apr. 24, 2010

  • The risk of some complications do increase, but only slightly with each c-section. You just have to keep that in mind and decide if it's worth it to you. It's also a good idea to speak with your ob, as you said you're going to, because he knows your history and knows if there are any special circumstances that would increase risks for you even more, so definitely do that. I have had 3 sections myself, the first was emergency due to CPD and the second and third were planned. We want another baby and obviously it will be another c-section if that happens. My doctor hasn't said I should stop at any certain point, he told me what the risks were and said it's up to me and that one more shouldn't be an issue for me. Good luck!

    Answer by whittear at 10:41 AM on Apr. 24, 2010

  • My SIL had 3 csections and after the 3rd her OB recommended no more, so she got her tubes tied. I am having my 2nd csection (5th child) in July and my OB said it would be riskier for me to try a VBAC than any risk associated with a 2nd csection. (My OB's office will allow VBACs, depending on the reason for the previous csection - if it was due to a problem they think it likely to repeat, they like to go ahead and do a csection, if it was for something like breech/transverse position, they will do a VBAC.)

    Answer by missanc at 10:43 AM on Apr. 24, 2010

  • My moms friend had 7.She is just fine.

    Answer by ryanlynn at 10:45 AM on Apr. 24, 2010

  • VBACs, in general, are safer than repeat C-sections. Doctors and hospitals "don't do them" because of legal reasons, not because repeat sections are safer.

    Yes, your risks increase with each surgery. You lose more blood with each surgery, you increase scar tissue with each surgery, you are more likely to have complications with each surgery and you also increase the risks of miscarriage, stillbirth, placenta previa and placenta accreata, all of which are serious. We have a shameful maternal mortality rate in the US because of our C-section rate right now. It's still a tiny number of women, but we are far behind where we should be.

    I would recommend getting more information on attaining a VBAC from Even after 2 c-sections your risk of uterine rupture (which is the risk they worry about) is less than 1% (a LOT less) and you are safer attempting VBAC than having a repeat section.

    Answer by Ati_13 at 11:03 AM on Apr. 24, 2010

  • Yes. Complications for your subsequent pregnancies and births increase with every cesarean, while the risk of uterine rupture actually reduces with each successful VBAC. The hysterectomy rate is FAR higher with multiple cesareans - normally indicated by the presence of placenta accreta, where the placenta attaches to or through the uterine scar. You're roughly 10 times more likely to hemorrhage and require a blood transfusion. At least 100 in 10,000 moms will have placenta previa with more than one prior cesarean sections, compared to less than that with one previous surgery.

    These increased morbidity risks are a big deal, mama. Considering that the risk of uterine rupture is less than 1% for a primary VBAC, and just slightly higher for a mother with multiple cesareans before VBAC, and there's a 75% or greater success rate with VBAC, I'd do it ASAP before I had no chance.

    Answer by asaffell at 11:11 AM on Apr. 24, 2010

  • I am in the same position. I had my 1st vaginally, but had to have a last minute unplanned C-section with my son. Now my doctor is saying that if I have another pregnancy I will need to have a C-section at around 37 weeks. This really upsets me because I was so disappointed that I could not have my son naturally as I had planned, and I would really like to have another shot at it as well. Now we are stationed in KS (DH is Army) and the hospital here does not do VBAC. There are 2 off base hospitals that I have not checked into yet but I plan on doing everything I can before agreeing to the C-section. I am not pregnant, and I don't plan on becoming pregnant in the next year, but when the time comes I def want a natural birth.

    Answer by Ctink8189 at 11:13 AM on Apr. 24, 2010

  • happytexasCM

    Answer by happytexasCM at 11:47 AM on Apr. 24, 2010